Ian Charlesworth (b.1970)

From Dark Passages #3

Carbon and resin on gesso panel

40cm x 40cm

Private collection

Born in 1970, Ian Charlesworth is a contemporary visual artist, currently living and working in Russia. In 1992, he graduated from De Montfort University with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. He continued his studies at the University of Ulster, where he undertook a Master’s in Fine Art in 1998 and completed his PhD in 2006. He spent a year as a Fellow at the British school in Rome (2005-2006).

In addition to his practice as an artist he has taught art at a number of academic departments In the UK and Ireland, including at University Campus Suffolk and the University of Ulster. Since 2012, he has been Course Leader of Fine Art at the British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow, Russia. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally at venues such as La Caixa Foundation, Madrid (2011), the Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (2009), The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington (2008) and The Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia (2007). His work was shown in the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Charlesworth’s practice led research has been concerned with the relationship between painting/drawing and lens-based representations. The relationship between an image and the depicted subject in documentary and gestural drawing is of particular interest to him. Through his research he has engaged with drawing, video and photography. This piece is one of a series made by Charlesworth that take as their inspiration the paramilitary graffiti often found in pub toilets in Northern Ireland, burned onto cubicle doors using a cigarette lighter. He replicates this technique by charring surfaces, such as Perspex or canvas, that have been gessoed - prepared with plaster of paris and glue. The surface is then sealed in an acrylic resin. By continuous layering, Charlesworth creates a pattern that all but obscures the original graffito, presenting the viewer with a more aesthetic experience.